mardi, octobre 07, 2008

Teaching English among the smart kids

Well, yesterday was the day when I finished revising my proposal, but today was the day I spent actually re-formatting, proof-reading and otherwise preparing my proposal to be read and approved by my thesis advisor. I managed to take care of most of that during my work day, and then I headed over to the Ecole Nationale des Chartes to teach an English class. I got a small gig at a rather prestigious post-secondary school (part of the Sorbonne, grandes écoles [LINK] cluster in Paris), which involves conducting conversation in English for 2 hours twice a week in the afternoon. The school is almost exclusively about history and archivism, as the school's mission is described on it's website as "the education of curators of written heritage." One of the main "undergrad" programs is archivist-paleographer.

I biked my way over to the school in the 6th arrondissement (largely uphill, I might add), arriving well before the class would start. Since I have about 2 hours between my day-job and this teaching gig, I think I’m going to start making a habit of frequenting the cafés on the nearby rue Mouffetard. The students were timid but capable of struggling through a basic self-introduction and mostly understood what I was saying. I saw a few of them (I think straight out of high-school) look at each other with wide eyes when I switched from French into English, but I did my best to reduce my Canadian accent and slow my speech. We’ll see how it goes.

Oh, and just to show that things are often the same on either side of the globe, I had to stop discussion about 30 minutes into class to tell the students that talking in class was something that makes me very, very cranky. I taught them a new expression: “pet peeve.”

Anyway, I kept them busy until about 19h00 and then headed home. It was raining and awful outside, so I slouched my way over to the nearest subway station and made my way home the “traditional” way.

1 commentaire:

Humingway a dit…

Ha! Nice work with the new expression. You should invent a few more "American expressions" to teach them.